domingo, julho 12, 2015

Entrevista com Mike Hudson dos lendários Pagans

1-How did you start on the punk rock scene?

My brother Brian, Tim Allee and I had a band in 1974 that would eventually become the Pagans. There really was no scene at that time. By 1976, we had become aware of bands like the Ramones and the Sex Pistols, who were working along the same lines as us, and were fortunate enough to meet the Heartbreakers, who we got to play a show with in Cleveland. This brought us into contact with other local musicians, the guys from Devo, the Electric Eels, the Dead Boys, Pere Ubu, the Cramps and the Styrenes, and the Cleveland punk scene was born when we joined together to do shows.

2-Why did you chose to form a band?

Rock and roll provided the most accessible means of artistic expression and creating. Cleveland was a dull and boring place, and mostly we all did it to amuse ourselves. We never had any illusions about being rock stars or having success, but we wanted to make a record, play some shows, drink, do drugs and have sex with pretty girls.

3-Can you tell us about the Cleveland scene?

At the beginning it was very small, 30 or 50 people, and there was really only one club to go to and play at, the Pirate’s Cove, which was located in what was then a pretty dangerous part of town. There were a couple of Xeroxed fanzines, Cle and Mongoloid, and a small record store called the Drome which was the center of things and had all the records from New York, LA, Europe and Japan. That was how it was when we released “Six and Change” in 1977. Very underground. It grew until around 1980, fractured, and by 1982 was essentially mainstream. Most of the musicians in the original bands left town after that. I left in 1984.

4-What are your favorite Pagans songs and albums?

Of course the most recent one, “Hollywood High” is my favorite! It came out about eight months ago. I’ve always liked “The Pink Album” from 1983 the best. Of the earliest stuff, “What’s This Shit Called Love?”, “Not Now No Way,” “Dead End America” and “(Us and) All Our Friends Are So Messed Up” have all held up pretty well. I like them all or I wouldn’t have released them.

5-How does Cleveland of 1977 compare to Cleveland now?

I have not been to Cleveland except for very short visits in more than 30 years. But it’s safe to say the place is still run by crooked politicians, still faces crushing economic problems and has some of the worst weather on the face of the planet. Most of my friends who still live there do so because of deep rooted family ties or they have a good job or successful business. Because of the bands that came out of there in the late 70s, there’s a tendency to romanticize the city, when the reality is that most everyone who could got the hell away from as soon as possible. What are your favorite bands? The bands that influenced us most directly were the Stooges, the Velvet Underground, the New York Dolls and above all the Rolling Stones. The whole 60s garage scene that Lenny Kaye documented on the “Nuggets” albums was important to us, as were bands like the Sonics, who I’m very excited about getting to play with in Spain this October.

6-I know you became a journalist and wrote books. How did this happen?

I’ve always been a writer, for as long as I played rock and roll. In my late teens I began writing articles and sending them off to magazines, which bought a few. In 1977 I took the clippings into a small newspaper in Cleveland and they hired me to write full time. After that, whenever I didn’t have a record contract or a tour, or thought my career in music was over, I’d get a job at a newspaper someplace. In 2000, I was living in Niagara Falls, New York, and started my own newspaper, which I later sold. After that I began writing books, six of them, about a wide variety of topics. The most recent, “Fame Whore,” is a novel about Hollywood.

7-What punk rock books do you recommend? 

Everything Patti Smith, Lester Bangs, Richard Hell and Jim Carroll ever wrote, Legs McNeil’s “Please Kill Me Please” and of course my own “Diary of a Punk”! I really don’t read a lot of writing about punk rock per see and if you came to the house you’d be more likely to hear Amy Winehouse or the Stones playing than any punk music. There’s 3,000 years of great literature to read and a century’s worth of recorded music, Beethoven I like better than any punk rock artist. Again, there is a disconnect. The people who invented punk rock in the mid to late 1970s didn’t listen to punk rock because it didn’t exist. The Ramones were covering Sonny Bono songs and the Sex Pistols were doing pop tunes by people like Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart. Johnny Thunders had that whole 50s doo wop thing going on and the Cramps were doing rockabilly. Everyone I know from that era pretty much detests hardcore. It’s not reasonable to assume that people who grew up listening to Elvis and the Kinks are going to all of a sudden like what passes for punk rock in 2015. In America, at least, Punk was more of a label slapped on certain bands and scenes and fashions by a mainstream media seeking largely to marginalize it. So it’s been 40 years and it endures because it was the last vestige of rock and roll, the last blast of the non-corporate, non-homogenized real thing. I think it’s idiotic when bands deliberately use shitty recording equipment and instruments to try and duplicate the sound. If we could have had the benefit of decent recording studios we would have used them.

8-Final words?

Playing the 10th Annual Funtastic Dracula Carnival in Benidorm, Spain, with the Sonics this October is like a dream come true for me. The Pagans have never played Europe before, and the show sold out in eight minutes. I moved out here to Los Angeles four years ago to write the novel, record the album and take the band back out on the road again, and this trip will be like a final piece of the puzzle. I was in a bad automobile accident in January, spent 40 days in hospital, and had a lot of time to think about how I wanted to live the rest of my life. If Spain goes well, we’ll do a full European / North American tour in the spring with a trip to Japan sandwiched between. It’s exciting, and gratifying to be able to operate at this level after all these years. See you in Benidorm!

Rock das Cadeias: Entrevista com Mike Hudson dos lendários Pagans
Get your own widget and share anywhere!